Plans blocked for GP clinic to move into bigger site in Chorley
Plans for a GP surgery to move into a bigger premises in Chorley have been rejected by town planners.
Members of the borough’s council blocked the application over concerns that traffic would become unbearable at a meeting on April 24.
The Surgery Chorley, currently based in Collison Avenue, had submitted plans to transform empty offices in St Thomas’ Road into a doctor’s clinic.
Bosses hoped it would allow them to offer more services to their patients and also give them more space for car parking.
But, following objections from residents living nearby, and despite officer’s recommendations to approve the move, councillors voted to reject the plans.
Suzanne Clitheroe, business development manager at The Surgery Chorley, said: “We are very disappointed, unfortunately it wasn’t approved.
“It’s such a shame for patients.
“We want to bring additional services to the clinic. Currently the practice isn’t fit for purpose.
“We are having to ask patients to drive across to our Leyland site in West Paddock for certain services.
“If we had been able to move we would have been able to provide minor surgery services.
“We did a survey internally with patients and we were overwhelmed by the level of support for the move.
“Currently we have to share 22 parking spaces with another surgery at the health centre here as well as with other community services.
“The new site would have allowed us 14 dedicated spaces.”
The GP Surgery occupies four consulting rooms within Chorley Health Centre on Collison Street.
The proposed move to Ann James House would have facilitated the provision of a reception area, waiting room, back office, six GP consulting rooms, two nurse rooms, a staff room, treatment room, conference or library room, staff gym and other associated rooms.
Writing on online planning documents one critic of the plan, who lives nearby, said: “I would like to strongly object the change of use from offices to a GP surgery.
“The parking in my street close by is already very congested because of the already existing GP surgery nearby.
“Our street is permit parking, but this is often ignored by people going to the existing GP surgery.
“People also already park on the nearby office carparks, block entrances and park on double yellow lines.
“We do not need more traffic and congestion in this street/other nearby streets.”
Another resident said: “I live in a street across from the proposed GP surgery. The parking in this part of the town is impossible as it is.
“I have to pay for a permit to park on my street, but often can’t as there are insufficient parking spaces for the residents that live in and around the town centre.
“On a regular basis there is nowhere to park near your address. We have four GP surgery’s already in a half mile radius of this location- four!”
The clinic is now weighing up its options over what to do next. Suzanne said: “We are considering our options, whether to stay where we are, appeal or find another place to move to.”
To view the application see www.planning.chorley.gov.uk